blink-182 - California (Deluxe Edition) (Album Review)

A few years ago it seemed like blink-182 would never release the follow-up to Neighborhoods. Heck, after some lengthy delays half of us were surprised when Neighborhoods finally got a release date. Nearly everyone is familiar with Tom's departure (if not one quick google search should fill you in). The subsequent events led to Matt Skiba joining the band and the band releasing their first number 1 album since Take Off Your Pants And Jacket with last year's California. Now less than a year after that album the deluxe edition of California is out.

I think blink-182 fans can finally rejoice in a wealth of new songs. Not only has the revamped, re-tooled blink lived up to the promise of not only an album, but here we are in two years time with basically two albums worth of material. The great thing about this deluxe edition is the eleven new songs aren't just b-sides; a lot of the songs show some neat experimentation while others capture the mood and vibe we've come to enjoy from blink over the years. Songs like the post hardcore leaning "6/8" and the slightly electronic leaning "Bottom Of The Ocean" show a fascinating side of this new blink-182 that could build a bridge to some interesting things on their next official album with this line-up. While songs like "Parking Lots" and "Wildfire" are more in line with what we heard on California. I think both are extremely well executed pop/punk songs. It took a couple listens to get used to Mark and Matt's different verse style flows on "Parking Lots", but after a couple listens it made more sense and since its initial release I've listened to it a ton. I really like a lot of the guitar work on that song. I've heard some criticism for "Can't Get You More Pregnant", but honestly having another joke song on this second disc helps unify this deluxe edition somewhat. I also think it's a fantastic little song, musically. Songs like "Misery" and "Last Train Home" sound more like a neat marriage of the sounds of blink-182 and Alkaline Trio. They definitely show some heavy influence from Skiba in certain parts of both of those songs. Barker's drumming on the "Last Train Home" sounds great, as well.

There's really no way I can understate how much I'm enjoying this new version of the band. As a fan of this band for well over a decade it's nice to finally see them releasing not just new music, but high quality music. This deluxe edition provides listeners with a really cool look at some of the different ideas being tossed around and sonic directions. I think that if you liked California then you are going to like these new songs. I also think if you were expecting some interesting experimentation from this new line-up that you'll find some really interesting moments on some of these songs. Honestly the quality of songs on the deluxe edition could have easily been found on a brand new album. The eleven new tracks flow nicely and are sequenced really well. For me, most of these songs are easily album quality. It seems more like the band had a wealth of riches in songs when they were working on California and decided to share the wealth with fans. I would highly recommend this deluxe edition as you are basically getting a brand new blink-182 album.

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